Today's Stichomancy for H. P. Lovecraft
|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson:
difficulties first created before they can be solved. Hence,
again, there follows the peculiar greatness of the true
versifier: such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Victor Hugo,
whom I place beside them as versifier merely, not as poet.
These not only knit and knot the logical texture of the style
with all the dexterity and strength of prose; they not only
fill up the pattern of the verse with infinite variety and
sober wit; but they give us, besides, a rare and special
pleasure, by the art, comparable to that of counterpoint,
with which they follow at the same time, and now contrast,
and now combine, the double pattern of the texture and the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
child, I wrapped my warm cloak around me and started home, though
I could not forget the child.
"It is a cold night," I said to the driver as we started on our
"Yes," he answered, "there will be some uncomfortable people in
the city to-night."
"In that house we just left," I continued, for I could not banish
the child from my thoughts, "there was a little child playing on
the bed without a shred of trousers on."
"Quite right," said he; "they pawned the trousers of that child
to get money to pay me for taking you to see the sick woman."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
Normandy, after a notoriety which women for the most part envy and
condemn, especially when youth and beauty in some sort excuse the
transgression. Any sort of celebrity bestows an inconceivable
prestige. Apparently for women, as for families, the glory of the
crime effaces the stain; and if such and such a noble house is proud
of its tale of heads that have fallen on the scaffold, a young and
pretty woman becomes more interesting for the dubious renown of a
happy love or a scandalous desertion, and the more she is to be
pitied, the more she excites our sympathies. We are only pitiless to
the commonplace. If, moreover, we attract all eyes, we are to all
intents and purposes great; how, indeed, are we to be seen unless we
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson:
grow gradually into a certain income; without spending a penny
more, with the same sense of restriction as before when you
painfully scraped two hundred a year together, you find you have
spent, and you cannot well stop spending, a far larger sum; and
this expense can only be supported by a certain production.
However, I am off work this month, and occupy myself instead in
weeding my cacao, paper chases, and the like. I may tell you, my
average of work in favourable circumstances is far greater than you
suppose: from six o'clock till eleven at latest, and often till
twelve, and again in the afternoon from two to four. My hand is
quite destroyed, as you may perceive, to-day to a really unusual